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Old 25-02-2009, 15:20   #1
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BVI Charter in the Summer Heat . . .

Hello everyone. My thanks to in advance for taking the time to review what I am sure many will find to be a silly question.

My family and I have chartered in the BVI a couple of times previously with a crew and I have decided to make the leap and learn the skills to charter a catamaran ourselves. I have signed up for a training (ASA 101, 103, 104, 114, etc) that will allow me to charter but we are obviously very new to this.

We have an opportunity to get away without our kids (they are all at camp) for a week in the summer and I jumped at the chance to start to build my sailing experience and booked flights down to the BVI. In looking to charter a bareboat catamaran we had focused on a Lagoon 38 as appropriate for us as it will just be the two of us and we have previously sailed on the 44 and liked it. (Now here is the issue I do not understand). It has recently dawned on me that there are no 38 and virtually no 40 foot boats with air conditioning. Looking at the weather reports it looks like its highs of 95 with lows of 80 and I can only assume it would be really hot sleeping in a cabin. Without A/C there is also no generator so even bigger fans are not an option. Clearly people do this so I am just not sure if we are just meant to tough it out when hot or if we should count on a breeze? If its as bad as I imagine then all boats down there would have A/C?

I guess my question is, how do people handle the heat when cruising/chartering in Caribbean in the summer on smaller boats (38-40 feet) that do not seem to be offered/ equipped with A/C?

Thank again for any advice from the experienced cruisers out there!!

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Old 25-02-2009, 16:07   #2
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We did it in the summer one year and it is now refered to as the trip with 7 wonderful days and 5 nights from hell! The only two nights we really slept were the two we spent at Bitter End where we had shore power and could use the AC -- no generator (Moorings monohull 46ft -- 3 couples).

The days were wonderful, although the wind wasn't the best, but most nights found us on the deck trying to sleep -- way too warm below.

I must admit it's a lot nicer after Nov, seems the temp drops about 10 degrees and the nights are much cooler.

Would I do it again, sure! I'll take a trip to the Caribbean anytime.

You said you won't have the kids, so leave the clothes behind, put on some sunscreen and enjoy.


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Old 25-02-2009, 16:18   #3
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A. only one person to a cabin;

B. lie on your back with your arms and legs spread out so that no two pieces of skin are touching;

C. turn the fan directly on you (there WILL be a fan);

D. enjoy your 2 hours of broken sleep!
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Old 25-02-2009, 16:24   #4
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late july and Aug are the worst months- but hopfully you will have fans - im onboard all summer its only bad about 1 week of the month with fans and all the hatchs open -sleep naked and its not bad at all - if its really bad jump in the water and swim it will lower your core temp - and that makes it easyer
A/C has not been around that long
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Old 25-02-2009, 16:45   #5
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weather reports it looks like its highs of 95 with lows of 80 and I can only assume it would be really hot sleeping in a cabin.

What?? Where are you from?????


These mildly warmish nights should be good for you sleeping on deck... unless there is a summer shower (deluge?) which ou may need to sleep below with the gentle zeffer of the ubiquitos Hella fan.

Next year come to Australia and lets talk 90 degress

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Old 25-02-2009, 17:06   #6
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It depends on what night time temperatures you are used to. Being a Brit, I found it impossible to sleep in a BVI summer without a/c. Your screen name indicates that you may be from somewhere pretty far north so I think you may have problems in June- October down here
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Old 25-02-2009, 17:28   #7
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We have always chartered in the summer, June or July. Of the eight or so charters, 10 to 20 days each, we have had only two with generator and AC. You will have a couple of still, therefore hot nights but most will be fine. Jumping up to close hatches when a shower comes is more likely to wake you up than the heat. We ask for windscoops (Moorings had them but we went on to buy our own that I use on Immrama as well) to improve circulation which is a big improvement. Also we bring a light weight tarp that we rig over the boom when we are anchored. That shade can drop the saloon temperature 10 degrees. My mates are all great cooks so it is worth the heat, but even boiling a big pot of water for pasta can really warm up the saloon so use the grill up top. Most of the time, unless you are stuck in Road Town or Sopers Hole you will be out in the breeze and comfortable.
That said we have chartered a Hunter46 and a Hunter49 with AC. You sleep better because you can cool off the cabin after the heat of the day or cooking, you and the cabin dry out, and you don't have to jump up and close the hatches in a shower. I haven't really seen any cats without AC and generator though, so am surprised about the Lagoon. Who are you chartering with?
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Old 25-02-2009, 18:05   #8
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If you're really worried, buy yourself a couple of these units. We use them in the tent when camping during the summer and they work well. Just fill it up with ice, turn on the fan, point it at yourself - and it'll keep you comfortable. The ice will have melted by morning - but the fan will still circulate air. They are small (1ft x 1ft) and run on ordinary batteries. For $90 bucks, it's not unreasonable.

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Old 25-02-2009, 18:28   #9
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I sail my charter boat there frequently in June. It gets a bit hot, but not unbearable as long as there is some breeze circulating through.

Some things that help:

Get a berth with a good hatch. On my boat, the owner's cabin is the hottest because the only hatch is small and sheltered by the dodger. (Now I immediately remove the dodger on arrival.)

Take a bath/swim just after sunset and stay in a while. It gets rid of the days grunge and cools you down. Dry off by standing in the breeze, which will further cool you down.

Use the cabin fan.
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Old 26-02-2009, 07:59   #10
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We have chartered in June several times. Here are some thoughts:

Don't drink too much - burning alcohol at night will make you more uncomfortable...

Watch out for sunburn - again, this makes sleeping feel hotter than it is.

Make sure you have windscoops.

If you follow the above, you should only be uncomfortable at the dock, or when the rain showers come thru.

The charter captains for the Moorings that do the Summer Camps will tell you that EVERYONE sleeps on deck in the summer. The kids couldn't even get into their bunks.

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